The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations has set aside the 16th of October as a special date to draw attention to global issues surrounding the availability of food, showcase the achievements in food and agricultural development and make concerted efforts to take action against hunger. Tagged “World Food Day”, the date is special because it commemorates the founding of the Organisation in the year 1945.
The FAO collaborates with some other food-themed organisations and bodies like the National Food and Nutrition Society Commission, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment & Sustainable Development to celebrate the day by turning global attention to subjects such as caring for the earth, feeding the world, agricultural protection, food security, rural poverty and climate change.
When in 1945, the founding 42 countries meeting in Quebec, Canada created the FAO, they decidedly took a major step forward in humanity’s perpetual struggle against hunger and malnutrition. In establishing the FAO, these signatories provided themselves and the other nations that were going to join later on a ready mechanism by which member countries could collaborate to deal with a set of problems that faced all countries and every generation. This could be viewed in the objectives of the Organisation:
- Encouraging food production
- Stimulating government efforts in food production
- Encouraging cooperation among countries concerning food
- Encouraging the participation of rural communities to secure food
- Heightening public awareness of hunger in the world
- Promoting transfer of food technologies to the developing world
People in over 150 countries across the world also organise events to celebrate World Food Day and this has made this event one of the most celebrated days of the UN calendar. In many western countries some of these events are very colourful and help raise awareness of the need to be conscious of mankind’s wastefulness and how important it is to engineer ways to be less wasteful so that earth’s resources can be optimally used to satisfy the growing demand for food and nutrition by an ever-widening population.
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Individually and collectively, in any part of the world where we reside, there are ways we can each contribute to making sure we are also participants in this global effort to bring about zero hunger and secure food for the earth’s poorest. We can each try to avoid wasting food. Rather than throw food away, let us remember that there is someone within our immediate environment in dire need of that which we wilfully dump in the trash. Also, we can make efforts to do more with less as we cut down on resources we use. The extra we save in this effort can go a long way into helping those who have little or nothing. Also, we can adopt a healthier and sustainable diet. This helps us as it promotes a healthier lifestyle and cuts down on waste while making more available for others.
We can also raise awareness of the objectives of this day by sharing some of the efforts we are making with others in real life and on social media #WorldFoodDay